The disciples themselves had been influenced by those who supported violence. Jesus therefore took them away into non-Jewish territory farther north, in the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon. There he gave them the intensive teaching that he thought they needed.

The Trial and Judgment of Jesus.
Image source: © Carta, Jerusalem

A few years later the church left Jerusalem about the time of the Judean revolt against Rome (AD 66); most of its members settled beyond the Jordan, and no longer played an important part in the history of Christianity.

Towards the end of this period they came to Caesarea Philippi. This place was formerly called Panion, but Philip the tetrarch made it his capital and changed its name to Caesarea in honour of the Roman Emperor. (It was called Caesarea Philippi—that is, Philip’s Caesarea—to distinguish it from the port of Caesarea on the Mediterranean.) Here Peter, the spokesman of the twelve, spontaneously declared Jesus to be the Messiah.

People were so used to thinking of the Messiah as a political and military leader that Jesus at once began to tell them how different his immediate future would be. He was shortly to go to Jerusalem with them, but instead of seeking armed victory and power there he would be arrested and put to death—and in this way he would complete his task.

On the last journey to Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples seem to have gone through Transjordan and crossed the Jordan opposite Jericho. From Jericho they went up the steep, twisting road to Jerusalem. On this occasion, Jesus entered Jerusalem in a manner recalling an ancient prophecy where Zion’s king comes to his city mounted on an ass and bringing a message of peace. He was received enthusiastically enough, although the enthusiasm came more from Galilean pilgrims who had reached the city ahead of him than to the Jerusalemites themselves.